In June, mixed DOPPS and KIS teams were gathering seeds on the southern embankment of Lake Ptuj for several days, in order to obtain seed mixtures for grassland restoration and germination tests in Ormož Basins Nature Reserve (OBNR).
We were using two hand-held vacuum harvesters with a special sac attached at the back, that gathers the collected material. To many of you, these machines are probably better known as leaf blowers. Despite the fact that we purchased the most user-friendly model with regards to noise and vibration level, we »laid down the guns« after several hours of machine work and started gathering seeds by hand, in order to rest our ears and hands.
For those species, whose seeds or seed heads stubbornly held onto the stems, hand gathering proved to be more efficient. The largest proportion of gathered seeds belonged to the following species: erect brome Bromopsis erecta, meadow clary Salvia pratensis, rock-rose Helianthemum ovatum, yellow rattle Rhinanthus minor, greater yellow rattle Rhinanthus alectorolophus, aristate yellow rattle Rhinanthus glacialis, hop trefoil Trifolium campestre and mountain clover Trifolium montanum.
At the end of gathering we also carefully stored all seeds that accidentally accumulated in our shoes! Similar seed gathering actions are planned also in July and August, providing a wide spectrum of species. All seeds will be dried, mixed together and sown on recipient plots in OBNR in September, with a minor part of the mixture set aside to be used for germination tests on an arable field in OBNR.